German researchers release initial results from simulated indoor concert study

Posted on: November 3, 2020

“German researchers who invited thousands of people to a concert two months ago to study gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic have found ‘glimmers of hope’ for the future of indoor events amid the spread of the virus,” writes Rick Noack in Friday’s (10/30) Washington Post. “Mandatory mask-wearing, adequate ventilation systems, additional entrances and other measures could help to reduce the risk of infection significantly, the researchers said … summarizing the initial results of a government-funded study…. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed. In one scenario modeled by the scientists, the infection risk for participants and their contacts was around 70 times lower when health and safety instructions were followed, compared with what it could have been under pre-pandemic behavior…. [In] an experiment that drew around 1,400 people to an indoor concert simulation in August … researchers … used tracking devices to gather data on the movements and behavior of participants, all of whom had to test negative for the novel coronavirus to be allowed to participate…. Data … was fed into a computer simulation to estimate the hypothetical spread of the coronavirus for varying safety protocols…. With Germany about to enter another partial lockdown, [the scientists’] recommendations will have to wait.”